Seen throughout media sources, the story of government neglect, personal ploys to save money, and what many refer to as an environmental disaster has spread throughout the Flint, Michigan community. Commonly refereed to as the Flint Water Crisis, the problem has made its way into mainstream media waves. With 56% Black residents and 41% below the poverty level, the crisis has sparked outrage, concern, and requests for relief efforts.
The harsh circumstances have captured the hearts and minds of many celebrities. Rappers Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, and Sean “Diddy” Combs have voiced efforts to send bottled water to the Michigan community. With help from New Bethel Baptist Church, Aretha Franklin announced a plan to provide hotel rooms, food, and water, to over 50 Flint residents. Jimmy Fallon, Cher, and others have already sent over 181,000 water bottles to the community and the initiative is increasing.
It’s important to note that sending water bottles will greatly assist the Flint community; however, it is not a permanent solution to the longterm problem. “Until we can get fresh clean drinking water out of the taps in the city of Flint, our efforts are not going to stop” said a Flint resident, to Centre Daily Times.
So what can Penn State students do to help with aid and relief efforts? Fortunately there are numerous initiatives to take part in both locally and across the nation.
Paul Robeson Cultural Center
The PRCC will be collecting water bottles from now until February 2, 2016. All donations should be taken to the PRCC-Hub.
Flint Water Study
The Flint Water Study is a independent research team comprised of students, faculty, scientists, and volunteers at Virginia Tech. The group collects lead kits from Flint residents, analysis toxins, and informs residents of the increasing dangers within specific homes and regions.
Water Quality Research Engineers
The Engineering department at the University of Michigan are conducting research and watching the situation in regards to several long-term aspects of the flint drinking water crisis.
Donation Centers in Flint
Flint Community Schools
Cash Donations: 810-767-6030, 810-760-1310
Bottled Water Donations: 810-760-1310
Flint Community Activists
Melissa Mays, 810-423-3435
Islamic Center Mumin
Mima Gamin Rasool, 810-785-4001
Catholic Charities of Genesee County
Soup Kitchen and Warming Center, 810-785-6911
Are there any other ways to give back to Flint within the State College community? Let us know in the comments below!